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July 7, 2014
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New community centre to benefit youth of Parade Gardens

More than 400 people, many of whom are under 25, and who are affiliated with a number of community-based organisations operating in Parade Gardens in Kingston, are the direct beneficiaries of a new community centre.

The official opening of the Parade Gardens Integrated Space community facility was held last Wednesday and represented sweet rewards for the collaborative efforts of the European Union supported Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP), the Citizen Security and Justice Programme of the Ministry of National Security and the community-based organisations.

Under the PRP, which is implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) - the new facility, which can accommodate social activities for all groups, was completed at a cost of J$39 million, with approved community contribution of $10 million.

In her remarks at the official opening ceremony, Ambassador Paola Amadei, head of the Delegation of the European Union, stated that the construction of an integrated community space facility synchronised completely with the objectives of the European Union-supported PRP, namely, improvement in socio-economic conditions and quality of life in volatile communities.

The old building at the centre, which was formerly a meeting area in the community, was demolished and replaced with a new one featuring a main auditorium hall, classroom space, one computer laboratory, a kitchen, an office area and a stage with change room.

The infrastructure work also included the rehabilitation of the front boundary wall to include a pedestrian gate.

Scarlette Gillings, managing director of the JSIF, in addressing the gathering noted that there were several external agencies whose efforts to drive social development interventions were blocked due to absence of a neutral and safe facility.

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